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Massive Cheese Recall Will Make You Want to Cancel Taco Night

Photograph by Twenty20

Home cooks, take note: Before offering your go-to tacos, nachos, grilled cheese and quesadillas for a quick lunch or dinner, check the cheese package.

A possible listeria contamination at one of its facilities has promoted Sargento Foods, Inc. to start a voluntary recall of some of its cheese products. The company says it is recalling packs of Sargento Ultra Thin Sliced Longhorn Colby, and Chef Blends Shredded Nacho & Taco Cheese.

The company is also recalling a number of other Sargento packaged cheese products out of what the company's recall page calls an "abudance of caution," because they were packaged in the same facility as the possibly contaminated Colby and shredded blends.

The additional products are: Sliced Colby-Jack Cheese, Sliced Pepper Jack Cheese, Chef Blends Shredded Taco Cheese, Off The Block Shredded Fine Cut Colby-Jack Cheese and Off The Block Shredded Fine Cut Cheddar Jack Cheese.

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Taylor Farms, which uses some Sargento products, has also announced a recall of 6,630 pounds of chicken and pork salad products that may be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes. That company is asking customers in and around Los Angeles and Tracy, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Houston, Roanoke and San Antonio, Texas, to check their fridges for Signature Cafe Southwest Chicken Premade Salad, Signature Café Southwest Style Salad with Chicken and H-E-B Shake Rattle & Bowl Rowdy Ranch Hand, all of which are subject to the recall.

This recall is particulary important for pregnant women and older people to make note of, because listeriosis can result in death. Of the 1,600 cases the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says are reported each year, about 260 of them result in death. There have been no reported incidents of listeriosis from the Sargento products.

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Symptoms of listeriosis are fever, muscle aches, and sometimes diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems, according to the CDC.

The company is encouraging anyone with Sargento products in their fridge to check the UPC code on the package against a list of the recalled products at their website. People may also call 1-800-CHEESES (1-800-243-3737) between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Central time) to ask questions and to start the reimbursement process.

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